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@Jeff

> Perhaps it is time for the serious-minded to reflect on the probable consequences of inducing deep-seated and intense emotions of anti-Germanism in the US.

Is this a threat? Don't misunderestimate us ;-)


>The reason we find this so irritating is that, while few Americans are witless enough to believe everyone in Germany is either a Nazi or wearing Lederhosen, most Germans unquestioningly believe these images accurately portray Conservative Americans

I can assure you that you will have a very hard time proving this claim (in boldface). And without such proof, I guess your whole argument goes pretty much down the gutter. But keep on trying...

Evidence sufficient to convince a reasonable person that an assertion is a fact constitutes legal proof. If that is the level of proof you are referring to, Medienkritik will hardly “have a very hard time” providing it. In fact, it has already done so many times over. If you are referring to a mathematical proof, your comment is pointless. If that level of proof were required in political discourse, all discussion of politics would cease. Every political argument would “go down the gutter,” as you so decorously express it. Do you require that level of proof for your own opinions? I doubt it. In that case, you couldn’t make your original assertion to begin with, because you would “have a very hard time proving” that failure to “prove” this one assertion defeats the “whole argument.” If I’m wrong, please demonstrate the proof. If we required your level of proof to act politically, we would all still be living in caves.

Mishu,

"I'd love to see a stereotypical photo expose of Germans like the one Stern did here."

Your wish is granted.

http://louminatti.blogspot.com/2005/03/lets-have-some-fun-with-stereotypes.html

Almost anything of this sort is virtually impossible to prove Martina - I can tell you from personal experience that the statement is BOLD is 100% for every European I know - British, French, German, Italian - you name it

Don't even try to say otherwise unless you can PROVE that my, and many many others, direct actual experience is all wrong

Classic Lou! Esp the "German tourist with black socks and shorts" - always a riot

We used to play Spot the Foriegner from the balcony at Punch and Judys in Covent Garden London - lots of fun

We ALL have our stereotypes after all - and yes, a lot of American's were easy to spot wearing sneakers and fanny packs ( different terms for both in the UK of course! )

We also always loved to hear about how "international" our European friends were compared to Americans -

See - Americans didn't have passports or travel abroad, yadda yadda yadda

Considering the size of most European countries, and the terrible weather in many ( UK for example ) and the oddities of the tax laws - of course these folks became so "international" - when you take a ferry to France for the day to load up on cheap cigarettes and English! Beer - well, theres your jet setting cosmopolitan european for you : )

Oh - and if you want to see the sun from Sept to May and you happen to live in the UK or Germany - you are off on another international jaunt

But by far the funniest part of it all was the nature of these "international" destinations - going to any major Spanish or Portugese or Greek resort area and what do you find???

A British "street" serving full enlish breakfasts and warm beer

and

A German "street" serving salami for breakfast and German beer

Our international travellers were for the most part seeking to throw up their native food after drinking massive quantities of booze under the sun for a few weeks a year :)

Us ignorant American's manage to do that in our late teens and early twenties and call it Spring Break - and we can even do it in the US of A

> Evidence sufficient to convince a reasonable person that an assertion is a fact constitutes legal proof.
That's fine with me!

> If that is the level of proof you are referring to, Medienkritik will hardly “have a very hard time” providing it. In fact, it has already done so many times over.

Well, then it should be easy for you to provide evidence sufficient to convince a reasonable person of your choice that most Germans unquestioningly believe these images accurately portray Conservative Americans. Go ahead.

> I can tell you from personal experience that the statement is BOLD is 100% for every European I know - British, French, German, Italian - you name it

Don't even try to say otherwise unless you can PROVE that my, and many many others, direct actual experience is all wrong

Why should I? This is exactly my point. I have no problem if you claim that every European you know unquestioningly believes it, it's just something different to infer that this is true for most Germans. I can inform you that most Germans I know don't. So?

If you make claims you can't prove, you'll get thrashed for it, and rightly so. Just think of Dan Rather. Show the evidence or shut up!

Go ahead Martina - prove that my direct personal experience is wrong

I've also heard the stereotypes about conservative Americans over and over, Martina. I'm glad you and your friends are different. I suppose you don't live in Berlin.

@Martina

"Well, then it should be easy for you to provide evidence sufficient to convince a reasonable person of your choice that most Germans unquestioningly believe these images accurately portray Conservative Americans. Go ahead."

Read Medienkritik's archives for the last year.
Quod est Demonstrandum.

No thanks necessary, it was my pleasure.

> Read Medienkritik's archives for the last year.
> Quod est Demonstrandum.

You're right, it still is.

> No thanks necessary, it was my pleasure.

Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine :-)

99% of the Germans I got involved with, through work, common interests etc., believe that Stern's stereotypes are, if not completely true, to a very large degree accurate. This is a fact that has been confirmed countless times. (Those are the Germans I mingled with, not the ones I chose to ignore).

If Martina knows mostly Germans who don't fall for the Stern propaganda, then she is extremely fortunate and I envy her. If Martina believes that most Germans don't fall for the Stern propaganda, then she is wrong. If Martina tries to convince anyone that most Germans don't fall for the Stern propaganda to some degree, then she is a liar.

Such a shame that the print/television media has to stereotype Americans as either Republican or Democrats. We have many different political parties and people from all walks of life. There are plenty of people who are moderate and in the middle of issues. Germany has definitely changed throughout the past twenty years. I grew up in Germany (mother German/father American) and noticed for the past few times I have returned to Germany how hateful and mean-spirited the Germans have become. Such a sad situation since I used to love to go "home", but not any longer since I no longer feel welcome. My relatives in Germany have basically written me off, but I still hope that one day we can once again become close.

Actually Euro-bigotry on this scale has an upside for us: the more they believe these bigoted stereotypes about us, the less likely they will be able to ever figure out what makes us successful. Ergo, the less and less we have to worry about serious competition from Europe.

The result: More money, more power, more everything for us. Less of everything for Europe except hatred and socialism.

@WhatDoIKnow

"If Martina knows mostly Germans who don't fall for the Stern propaganda, then she is extremely fortunate and I envy her. If Martina believes that most Germans don't fall for the Stern propaganda, then she is wrong. If Martina tries to convince anyone that most Germans don't fall for the Stern propaganda to some degree, then she is a liar."

As Medienkritik has amply demonstrated, the conservative stereotype has been on display countless times in German newspapers, TV, radio and the rest of the media. But, according to Martina, the stereotype doesn't exist because it hasn't been "proved." In fact, it has been amply proved to any reasonable standard. It can never be "proved" to Martina, because she is determined not to admit any proof of a proposition she has already decided in advance is wrong. SPIEGEL loves to play the same game. After 911 they had a ball playing what I called at the time "das Spielchen mit den Beweisen." They denied that al Qaeda or bin Laden were responsible for the attack, claiming that it had not been "proved" to the bitter end. Even after the most diehard Middle Eastern fascists had long ago conceded the point, SPIEGEL still managed to dredge up some Arabs to provide their own, unique, translation of bin Laden's video, in which he proudly admitted responsibility. When even the editors of SPIEGEL noticed they were becoming ludicrous and irrelevant, they finally gave up the battle, muttering darkly about "exegesis of videotapes." Go ahead, Martina, play the same game until you're blue in the face. You're not fooling anyone.

>If Martina tries to convince anyone that most Germans don't fall for the Stern propaganda to some degree, then she is a liar.

I couldn't agree more. But without any proof (and I am not speaking of "proof by saying it's true") I'll say we don't know. Draw your own conclusions...

@Helian

> But, according to Martina, the stereotype doesn't exist

Are you reading my comments at all? Of course these stereotypes exist, but we are talking about whether Germans are taking these stereotypes for what they are, stereotypes, or not. I say, we don't know.

"Is this a threat? Don't misunderestimate us ;-)"

Seeing the smile at the end I assume that you are joking.

No I am not threatening at all. I am predicting.

Consider a few mental experiments. How many votes might a Republican pick up in some industrial blue states by reverting to traditional Republican protectionism. How many votes might a Democrat pick up in a red state like Ohio with a strong protectionist approach. The US is Europe's largest customer: not very sophisticated to annoy the hell out of your largest customer.

The German government wants the US to pay more attention to the UN and wants a permanent seat on the Security Council. What possible interest of the US people does either of those two actions advance? Why should any thinking German believe that the US government should do either, let alone both? As nearly as I can tell, the current German government is about as friendly to the US as Syria or Iran.

If Medienkritik is at all accurate about the tone of the German media and public, the US is generally portrayed in Germany as stupid, evil, and dangerous. Martina believes that few Germans believe that. Others at this site say many Germans say that. If Germans want good relations with the US, then perhaps it is good sense to demonstrate that desire, rather than to rain insults. If, on the other hand, Germans want to continue flushing good relations with the US down the drain, then insults are good tactics. Preaching "Gott strafe Amerika" long enough may have consequences. Repairing relations takes a lot longer than maintaining them.

Now I apologize to anyone who thinks that articulating good sense is a threat. I think it is simply human nature to return hatred for hatred.

@Martina

"Are you reading my comments at all? Of course these stereotypes exist, but we are talking about whether Germans are taking these stereotypes for what they are, stereotypes, or not. I say, we don't know."

I see, now you are setting yourself up as the standard of proof. If you say something, it's proved. As evidence, you trot out your personal experience. This is what scientists refer to as anecdotal evidence, and proves precisely nothing. Medienkritik, on the other hand, has cited literally hundreds of examples of stereotyping of Americans, conservative and otherwise. If you go to any news stand in Germany, you can find more examples with ease. Contrary examples, if they exist at all, are very rare indeed. This, to any reasonable human being, constitutes proof. But Martina tells us that the proposition is not "proved" to her satisfaction. All one can say is, "so what?" I'm sorry you feel that way, Martina, but your opinion doesn't constitute a standard of proof that's acceptable to anyone. Tell me, Martina, can you "prove" Nazi stereotyping of Jews, or stereotyping of blacks in the southern part of the United States during the first half of the 20th century? Did that stereotyping really take place, Martina? "Prove" it to us.


Martina Posts:

"If you make claims you can't prove, you'll get thrashed for it, and rightly so. Just think of Dan Rather. Show the evidence or shut up!"

Prove it? Isn't that what the medienkritik does everyday? Obviously your anecdotal objection is unprovable in its sophistry.
The cruching reality for my Deutsch friends in our conversations is asking them to find the STERN/ SPEIGEL equivalent in TIME or NEWSWEEK?

The obsessive bile and hatred in the German/ European media simply can't be found, even in those bad ol' Red States of America.
Our "isolationism?" Our "parochialism?" Perhaps, but if the more worldly, more nuanced take on the world is this victimized, euro-emotional, hatefilled, obsessive fantasizing . .
. . then I will gladly stick with "simple,"
"black and White" view of life, enjoy myself, and leave the obsessing and hating to Eurabia.

And for all of you (true) progressive, aggressive, entrepenurial, forward looking, non-victimized europeans looking for an environment to blossom and thrive in . . well hey, turn left at Iceland and I'll leave a light on.

Tyranno

If they want to take us for a nation of dimwits, there might be some advantage for us in that:

"Poker? I played that a couple of times, but I think I've forgotten. Will you teach me?"

Cleary we cannot "prove" the fact that most Germans do accept the above caricatures as representative of Consevative Americans ( Red Staters - Bush voters - whatever )

All I can say is this is 100% accurate in terms of how most Britons and Irish view conservative americans - and frankly the views held on such topics by continental europeans from France and Germany are far and away generally even worse when it comes to how they view conservative americans

Martina - if you are telling us that the germans you know don't fit this pattern please invite them to join us here. I am sure we would all love to hear from them and maybe they can join and help to change the way the German media portrays the USA

Of course I doubt you will get any of these mythical people to join us - but if you did we would quickly get a dose of standard conservative american bashing based on the above stereotypes ;)

> As evidence, you trot out your personal experience. This is what scientists refer to as anecdotal evidence, and proves precisely nothing.

So we can finally agree!

@Martina

"> As evidence, you trot out your personal experience. This is what scientists refer to as anecdotal evidence, and proves precisely nothing.

So we can finally agree!"

Sorry, Martina, but a thousand incidents, all pointing to the same conclusion, aren't an "anecdote," in German or English.

maybe Martina means "prove" in the same way that some say we cannot "prove" Hitler ordered the Final Solution - or even knew about it! Or maybe she means "prove" in the way some demand proof that the Holocaust ever happened at all - after all - where are the gas chambers eh, eh???

For after all - we really only have thousands of personal accounts to back up the "reality" of Aushwitz Those aren't evidence are they?

( apologies for the violation of Godwins law )

--and constantly referred to the Germans as Nazis, dismissively and as though it were a simple, well-known and generally accepted fact (I mean, well, gosh, look at WWII, etc...,) you would be furious with me – and justifiably so. Well, that’s generally how we feel when we see this stuff again and again and again and again …"--

jenny, don't dread visiting the outlaws, revel in it.

Use the "N" word whenever possible.

Time to argue like an American. Start mentally preparing your conversations and responses now.

And make sure you explain about FoxNews and introduce them to a computer and the net.

Even if you have to pay for it.

Just ask em Jenny - if everyone you know agree's with you about George Bush - yet 60M Americans voted for him - do they think they might not be hearing the whole story???

Where to start?

This is a great blog. I've never posted a comment before, but I've had it.

I'm one of the Southern rednecks identified in the photos above, I guess, although I only have two guns, at present. I also speak Spanish, so I guess the stereotype isn't a perfect fit.

I grew up admiring Germany. I had the good fortune to meet Germans, who I genuinely like. Sometimes they'd express shame in Germany, and I would tell them that they should be proud of their country, that Germany is a great place and has accomplished many wonderful things, especially in the past 60 years. (So has the American South.) Growing up in a small town in the South, I thought that I might one day be drafted to go defend Germans from a Russian attack. I like to think I would have gone, too, because that's what kids are taught in the South--if your country needs you, you go. I guess that's another stupid American trait.

So I was shocked by Germany's behavior during the recent run-up to the invasion of Iraq. I understand that reasonable people can differ on Iraq, but Germany could have simply stayed on the sidelines, like Canada. Instead, Germany threw all of its diplomatic weight into protecting one of the worst dictators of our time. In the process, it took action that could only lead to the deaths of more American servicemen. (Germany and France bullied Turkey into withdrawing support at the last minute, leaving an entire division of our troops at sea in the eastern Med and allowing Saddam to focus all defenses on his southern front. They also refused Turkey's routine request for additional NATO air-defense and chem/bio cleanup troops due to increased local tensions. This was the first time such a request had been refused in NATO history. Throughout the Cold War, NATO countries regularly honored such requests from Bonn.)

Is Germany actually proud of this? Their justice minister compares Bush to Hitler, and this is a new source of patriotism? Can anyone imagine either Janet Reno or John Ashcroft comparing Schroeder to Hitler? I'm forced to conclude that something in the German psyche will not allow Germans to feel good about their own country without demonizing someone else's country.

A columnist I read put it best: Germany was so determined to avoid being the junior partner to America that it wound up being the junior partner to France.

Bottom line: when Germany needs America (Berlin airlift, Marshall Plan, 40 years of pledging New York as collateral for Bonn, America's immediate and enthusiastic support for reunification), Germany is a good ally. When America needs Germany, Germany is not a very good ally. (I do not mean to denigrate the brave German soldiers serving in Afghanistan. However, my understanding is that Germany has cut its tiny military budget even further every year since 9-11.)

I don't think Germans have yet figured out the extent to which they've alienated exactly the kind of Americans who were previously inclined to reflexively defend freedom in Germany. Ask yourselves if any of the “good liberals” in the photographs above look like they would support using military force to defend Germany. (Okay, probably the Mexican immigrants, but they sure look like conservatives to me in that photo. I’m at the epicenter of Latino immigration in the US, and I can assure you that culturally and philosophically, these tough, ambitious new Americans have far more in common with Southerners than with the American and European Left.)

At a basic level (the "American street"?), the spirit of NATO is dead. Let's end the occupation . . . of Germany.

@ The Other Jeff

No problem, at least not when you post what I would have posted anyway.

@ Mike

You are right on about Latino immigrants. After all no one put a gun to their heads to make them come: they chose to. Likely they had a reason, and it was not because they thought their lives would be hopeless in the US.

> apologies for the violation of Godwins law

That's okay if you are willing to accept the consequences - that you've lost the argument! :-)

What are you afraid of? That Germans don't hate America?

Mike,

Is Germany actually proud of this? Their justice minister compares Bush to Hitler, and this is a new source of patriotism?

No, that doesn't make anyone proud. I really don't know where you got the idea. The media went after her as soon as her remarks became public, and she was fired three days later.

Germany and France bullied Turkey into withdrawing support at the last minute, leaving an entire division of our troops at sea in the eastern Med and allowing Saddam to focus all defenses on his southern front

Michael Leeden is the only person who ever made that claim, and he did rely on the say-so of a single Turkish politician speaking anonymously. If it really had happened, there would have been plenty of corroboration by now.

Turks were (and still are) overwhelmingly opposed to the war - there's your reason why Turkey acted as it did.

What could better show American stereotypes of Germans than Saturday Night Live? The pictures won't post, but check out the links.

Pumping up with Hans and Franz:


http://snltranscripts.jt.org/87/pics/87ahansfranz1.jpg


http://snltranscripts.jt.org/87/pics/87ahansfranz2.jpg


Announcer: Good evening, and welcome to "Hans & Franz", the informative training program for the serious weighlifter.

Hans: Hello. Let us begin by introducing ourselves. I am Hans.


Franz: And I am Franz.


Together: And we want to.. [ clap their hands ] ..pump you up!


Dieter Sprockets:


http://www.ms.uky.edu/~sills/dieter.jpg


Some Dieter quotes:

* "Vhy is it that the truly brilliant are doomed to a life of obscurity, surrounded by a sea of mediocrity, only to end up covered in sores in a pool of their own filth? Oh vell, the beat goes on."


* "Vould you like to touch my monkey? Touch him! Love him! Liebe meine abst-monkey."


* "Gregor Was, your presence intimidates me to the point of humiliation. Would you care to strike me?"

@Gerd: "However, the photos shown here could as well be used in Time Magazine or Newsweek."

Yes, and what does that tell you about Time and Newsweek?

@Jenny: "It has gotten to the point that I almost dread going to Germany every summer because I know I’m going to have to listen to people endlessly pontificate about the abject stupidity and insidious evil of America..."

Tips for dealing with idiot anti-Americans:

1. Sweetly ask, if Americans are so stupid, fat and lazy, why is America leading the world?

2. If America is so uncultured, why do Germans go gaga over American movies and music? Why are there German rappers with baseball hats?

3. Ask sweetly, what country, what people has Germany liberated?

@Martina: "...most Germans unquestioningly believe these images accurately portray Conservative Americans..."

"I can assure you that you will have a very hard time proving this claim (in boldface)."

Of course, it would be impossible to literally prove that these images are believed by most Germans. There is a good argument to be made that this statement is nevertheless true. Here are German favorability ratings of America from Summer 2002, March 2003, May 2003 and March 2004 from the Pew polls (http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=206): 61, 25, 45, 38. Except for one poll, there is always a minority favorable to the US.

Secondly, you have the anecdotes from many Americans and Germans married to Americans, of Germans repeating these anti-American stereotypes as true and pressing these stereotypes on visiting Americans. Is this proof, admittedly no.

So these are just stereotypes? That's too bad, why can't you all look like she does in the picture on the left? I'd be so all over you.

Martina wrote:

What are you afraid of? That Germans don't hate America?
-----------------

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here?

I actually don't think that most Europeans hate America - or Americans

I do KNOW that most europeans carry with them these stereotypical idea's about what conservative american's are like

How do I know this? Because I am a conservative american who has lived in europe for years

Of course I was told a lot "oh not you, we mean those other's - you are a "1%"er "- the american who travels abroad and is from NYC and so actually not part of that red-state bunch of morons.

It was always funny to see the reaction to my contempt for this kind of "compliment"

So you see Martina - the only thing that really bothers me is to be lied to - which is what you are doing above in saying my vast personal experience is not the reality

I know it is because I have lived it

I'd like to come back to this photo essay which is at the core of this discussion here.

We have to ask
- are these photos a true reflection of America?
- are these photos anti-American?
- are they anti-conservative?

Certainly, they are not a true reflection of the diversity of America; these are stereotypes which amplify the German view of the US. I also don't think they are anti-American. I accept that they might be anti-conservative.

But rather than interpreting this photo essay as purposeful misrepresentation of America by the author and Stern magazine I would like to put forward a different explanation:

Namely that there is a huge cultural and political gap between Germans (excuse my generalization) and the right spectrum of US Americans which makes it impossible for either side to understand and respect each other. This goes both ways: Germans do not understand the political conservative view of a lot of US Americans; similarly these Americans do not understand the political view of most Germans (French etc.).

The Germans accuse the US of war mongering, imperialism and bullying - the Americans accuse the Europeans of putting financial interests over morality (when it comes to dealing with Sadam and Iraq) and being ungrateful. Of course, both views are simplistic and right and wrong at the same time. The American Press (Fox News etc.) is as guilty as the Stern in using stereotypes to defame the other side. And the American public is as guilty as the German public in not trying to look through some of the obvious contortions and misconceptions published by the press (and politicians). And when I talk about the public, I mean us.

Most Germans opposed the war because it seemed a blatant breach of international law; most American’s supported the war because they felt threatened by Iraq (rightly or wrongly). Both views are sensible – but they are not compatible.

The discussion going on here highlights the problem of the two sides having a civilised conversation. On average it is probably true that Americans and Germans are as gullible when it comes to believing the press and both are similarly ignorant of each other.

For people interested how a different interpretation of the world shapes European and US American politics, especially with respect to Iraq, I can recommend a small book by Robert Kagan: Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order.

BTW I’d love to hear from the authors of this Stern article about why they selected these images.

Cheers.

"The American Press (Fox News etc.) is as guilty as the Stern in using stereotypes to defame the other side. And the American public is as guilty as the German public in not trying to look through some of the obvious contortions and misconceptions published by the press (and politicians).

Gerd, PLEASE, please cite examples of the "American Press" "using stereotypes to defame the other side." Just give me as many examples from the mainstream media as you can find. We find them virtually every day in abundance in the German media.

And by the way Gerd, Fox News is hardly representative of the US press. If anything it is an exception to the rule.

---Ray D.

The images of America are true but incomplete. Images alone and quotes can't capture the variations in America anymore than they could in Germany.

If the Germans understand this basic premise, than the images, and captions, are nothing more than that.

Ray,
I don't know about Stern's publication figures nor do I have Fox News numbers but I suspect fewer Germans read Stern magazine than Americans watch Fox news (in percentage). If Stern is representative than Fox is as well - actually both only represent a part of the entire press spectrum in both countries. I do not have to mention that there are other magazines and newspapers in Germany with a different attitude towards the US.
Newshounds (http://www.newshounds.us/) lists some of the more obvious biases of Fox News but focusing on individual examples and Fox News is entirely missing the point of my post. Of course there are misconceptions and misrepresentations on both sides (you the examples in the German media, I see the ones on the other end). The more interesting questions is to what extent they are the result of a fundamentally different world view which currently makes it impossible for both countries to find common ground.

Gerd:

And to what extent is the German worldview a result of these sorts of cheap and widespread stereotypes Gerd? Are you trying to honestly say that this sort of thing is limited to Stern? Have you been to a German bookstore in the past 2 or 3 years? I've seen entire sections of book stores dedicated to America bashing. Have you ever seen anything comparable in the United States or the US media?

Certainly, the media environment has a major impact on shaping the German worldview. That is the point of this blog. To point that out and to point out the effect this ugly sort of bias is having in warping Germans' view of America.

BTW, I'd love to see even a few examples of something like this from Fox or any other major US media publication or outlet.

---Ray D.

These type of caricatures very disappointing. Always had the greatest regard for Germany as far as their people, music, engineering, and their society. Between the friends I had growing up who were of German Decent or the German friends I had in college or work, I've found the Germans a decent lot. I'm the type of American that Mike talks about who would have readily defended Germany up until the run up to the war.

This site and world events have opened my eyes to the way America and Americans are percieved in Germany. Quite disappointing and too bad. It's sad to see a friend be so hateful. I can only hope and pray things improve soon

Ray, it is obvious that the media environment has a major impact on shaping the American worldview as well. It doesn't make sense to assume that one side is objective while the other one is biased - there are at least two possible (and equally sensible) interpretations of events as we all can currently see. My point is: it's not neccsarily because of the meanspiritness of authors and the press that we see biased articles, it's because of a different world view (shaped by culture, history, geography and the press). Accusing each other of bias is simple but won't achieve anything. Trying to understand where these differences come from is more useful.

Gerd,

I find your comments to be very typical german.

I really enjoy the one about international law. It is obvious you are a lover of the UN. I would have to assume you must also like the EU.

What I find interesting is when something the EU does, does not agree with the german point of veiw either Germany ignores it or works to have it changed....

When I read through the above dialog, I am reminded of the wonderful Monty Python bit, "The Travel Agent Sketch," which is an endless, breathless rant by someone who loathes travel, travelers, foreign countries, and foreigners. A short excerpt found on http://www.edhat.com/html/monty_python_spain.html:

"...and being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Bontinentals with their international luxury modern roomettes and their Watney's Red Barrel and their swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending to be acrobats and forming pyramids and frightening the children and barging into the queues and, if you're not at your table, spot on seven you miss your bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday night there's bloody cabaret in the bar featuring some tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some big, fat, bloated tart with her hair Brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners...and fat American matrons with sloppy-buttocks and Hawaiian-patterned ski pants looking for any mulatto male who can keep it up long enough when they finally let it all flop out...."

High-larious. The point is, of course, that it's a comedic staple to make fun of foreigners by using unkind stereotypes. I'm trying very hard not to take the offense, even when the offense is intended, as it is here. Perhaps because this is meant for a German domestic audience, it isn't intended so much as a diplomatic exchange, as it were, but more as a way of blowing off the steam that the Germans feel for being relatively powerless and having so much baggage from WWII and beyond? I'd rather have a German mocking us savagely than kidnapping our tourists and killing them. At least, at this point, the German anti-Americanism has not been linked to actively warlike behaviors. Yes, their obstructionism in Iraq was very troublesome, but at least they didn't take up arms with al Qaeda against us. It's not much, but it's something to be thankful for, isn't it?

Gerd - this stuff is hilarious - "I don't know about Stern's publication figures nor do I have Fox News numbers but I suspect fewer Germans read Stern magazine than Americans watch Fox news (in percentage). If Stern is representative than Fox is as well - actually both only represent a part of the entire press spectrum in both countries. I do not have to mention that there are other magazines and newspapers in Germany with a different attitude towards the US."

Come on now - lets compare apples to apples before you try to lead us down this garden path of "but look at this example ( of totally unrelated nature ) see- we all are equally guilty!"

As I have asked - what is the comparable magazine to Stern in the US - is it Time? Newsweek? US News and World Report?

Just define it and then we can easily do a search for similar bashing articles about Germans - or even to be more generous - about any Europeans by stereotype

When you find that Stern is doing things none of these US mags would think of doing, then can you spare us the "but look at FOX news!" refrain

And lets look at Fox news if you like - its a favorite of the "American media is right wing" crowd

Consider how recent the Fox news brand is - and what market share CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS have in the USA - not to mention PBS

And what is the FOX news of Germany - does any alternative view exist?

You are in denial Gerd

@Ralph Goergens,

I understand that the Justice Minister was asked to resign, and that's good. My point is that it is incredible that one who thinks and speaks that way could rise to such high office in the first place. Again, I simply cannot imagine any American Attorney General, Democrat or Republican, saying such a thing. I can't think of a similarly disgusting piece of rhetoric from a high-ranking American official, can you? (Think of how mad Germans were when Rumsfeld called them "old.")

My understanding is that the Islamic party in Turkey actually supported the US, but the pro-Western, secular party did not. IMO, that doesn't make much sense unless Turkey was threatened by France and Germany. However, for the sake of argument, I'll withdraw that premise. I think my argument stands without it. (Admittedly, it's an emotional, not a logical, argument.)

The part about France and Germany vetoing Turkey's NATO request in Brussels is correct. Many newspapers covered it. By that point, the invasion was going to happen anyway. I therefore conclude that Germany and France either wanted to increase the Coalition body count, or simply didn't care if more Americans, Brits, Aussies, Poles (and Turks) died.

I don't mean to sound too much like "it's my ball and I'm going home," but the recent rift has demonstrated how completely dysfunctional the relationship is between the German people and the American people. This is very, very bad for freedom. Americans and Germans probably have more in common with each other than any other two nationalities that do not share the same language.

We've got to have a responsible, adult relationship. Germany and France should take the primary responsibility for security in Europe, at the very least. I hope that the next time a Milosevic starts death camps in Europe, France and Germany will stop him.

I don't believe the German public hates Americans, I rather tend to believe they're just envious - or maybe even a tad bit jealous.

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